The police are looking for ‘Mr. Flashy Shoes’ in Bitcoin Swindle – NBC Los Angeles

It all seemed legit to Robert Nevárez when the man who responded to his Facebook Marketplace ad for an expensive watch for sale showed up for a meeting.

The pair met in public at a Wells Fargo bank in the Orange County community of Brea which was well monitored by security cameras. Nevárez thought he had found a buyer for his $17,000 limited-edition Hublot watch.

A man who identified himself as the potential buyer’s brother arrived wearing expensive Converse Comme des Garçons shoes and driving a high-end Mercedes-Benz.

“He showed up in a really nice car, a Mercedes S-Class, said he was from Beverly Hills, so I assumed he had money since he had been here a long time and he had money to spend on a very expensive watch,” Nevárez said. .

The glare quickly dissipated the sale.

The man showed Nevárez what appeared to be the necessary bitcoin funds on an app. The men made the exchange inside a nearby Starbucks.

Five minutes later, on his way home, Nevárez discovered that he had just fallen victim to an apparent scam using decentralized digital currency.

“The money disappeared, so I immediately texted, tried to call,” Nevárez said. “I said, ‘Hey, the money doesn’t show up. Nothing. No texts, no phone calls.”

We know the pictures aren’t great, but someone forgot to tell this guy that he should at least try to blend in when he commits a crime.

Brea Police

Police liken the scenario to a modern check scheme, a scam in which someone writes a check and the seller sees the deposit, but the “buyer” has no money to cover it. By the time he clears the bank, the money is gone.

“People have a lot of time there,” Nevárez said. “If they want to deceive you, they will find a way.”

Police say the cryptocurrency has been manipulated into being used twice, even though it only exists once.

“He did everything he knew was right,” Brea police investigator Aja Tokugawa said. “Not knowing how bitcoin works, it takes a little longer to verify.”

Security camera footage captured the man who showed up for the sale. He can be seen wearing the distinctive high top sneakers.

“We know the photos aren’t great, but someone forgot to tell this guy that he should at least try to blend in when he commits a crime,” Brea police said in a tweet. “If you recognize Mr. Flashy Shoes, contact Investigator Tokugawa.”

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call 714-671-3675 or email [email protected]

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